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WRC 4 officially unveiled

Online play, new Test Tracks, rallies and cars, and all the correct data from the 2004 rally season.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

We've had snatches of info about it already (including a "November" release target), but the E3 last week finally saw Sony's official unveiling of this year's WRC title, WRC 4, or "WRC 4: The Official Game of the FIA World Rally Championship" for long-winded types.

Once again in development at Evolution Studios, WRC 4 will introduce online options, new rallies in Mexico and Japan, "Test Tracks" geared towards challenging various rally disciplines in sequence, and a couple of cars that we haven't seen in rally titles before, namely the Peugeot 307 WRC and Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 04.

The online options include a time trial mode and competitive play, allowing up to 16 fans to race through any stage at any time, with a public lobby area to arrange games and chat with others. The top 100 drivers on each stage will be able to upload times to online leaderboards, too.

Offline options will also be in plentiful supply, with over 100 stages across 16 locations on five continents, and thanks to the FIA WRC licence we'll be able to race around Point-to-Point, Super Special, Shakedown and Sprint tracks with all the accurate layouts, cars and driver info from the 2004 season.

The Test Tracks, meanwhile, are set in Finland, Spain and the UK and have been based on the real life Subaru Centres, which test the performance of vehicles in multiple rallying disciplines on the same track.

Taken in isolation it sounds like a decent mixture, and the screenshots point to an increased level of detail, but with so many rally games in development and on the shelves already, WRC 4 still faces a serious uphill climb if it hopes to dislodge the likes of Colin McRae Rally from PS2 disc trays. Expect to hear more about WRC 4 in the coming months.

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